The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance

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University of Chicago Press, 1988 - History - 488 pages
3 Reviews
In The Kindness of Strangers, John Boswell argues persuasively that child abandonment was a common and morally acceptable practice from antiquity until the Renaissance. Using a wide variety of sources, including drama and mythological-literary texts as well as demographics, Boswell examines the evidence that parents of all classes gave up unwanted children, "exposing" them in public places, donating them to the church, or delivering them in later centuries to foundling hospitals. The Kindness of Strangers presents a startling history of the abandoned child that helps to illustrate the changing meaning of family.
 

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User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

Using old records and tales, Boswell traces one of the main fates of unwanted children: abandonment. From antiquity through the end of the Middle Ages, European parents of every social standing, in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Tullius22 - LibraryThing

Full disclosure: I've 'officially', (if you will), removed myself from the history club's mailing list, so to speak, although I am still slowly-- and carefully!-- working my way through my backlog of ... Read full review

Contents

V
53
VI
95
VIII
138
IX
181
X
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XI
228
XIII
256
XIV
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XVIII
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XX
364
XXII
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XXIII
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XXIV
428
XXVI
435
XXVII
463
XXVIII
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XV
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XVI
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